Welcome to the latest issue of The Districts, where we chronicle the people, issues and activities impacting special districts across the U.S.
More than 90 special district leaders joined our Eastern Region Virtual Summit on Oct. 7 for a conversation about navigating changes and continuing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event brought together special district leaders from across the eastern U.S. and featured speakers from housing authorities, parks commissions, water and power utilities, transit authorities and fire districts. Panelists shared lessons learned from the COVID-19 response and offered insights into how they are adapting management techniques, technology strategies and leadership approaches.
Here are some key takeaways from this important conversation:
Join us December 15 for even more insights on responding to COVID-19 and preparing for the future. Our 2020 Special Districts Innovation Awards program received more than 200 nominations - all focused on technology deployments and leadership related to pandemic response and recovery efforts. This interactive virtual event will present some of the best ideas we’ve seen.
You’ll hear directly from special district leaders about how they are rethinking internal operations and virtualizing citizen services. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in discussions with our panelists and special district leaders. Register today to learn how the pandemic is changing management strategy, technology planning and service delivery for special districts.
Effectively operating the transportation systems of tomorrow is going to take more than thoughtful planning; it’s also going to require a lot of good data, experts say.
This process is already playing out with the wide adoption of the Mobility Data Specification (MDS), which is often credited with making emerging forms of mobility — bikes, e-scooters, rentable and sharable cars — integrated mobility options within the larger transportation ecosystem. The specification is used by about 90 cities around the world.
As mobility technology develops, the kinds of data management MDS facilitates will play an even larger role, said Bibiana McHugh, manager of mobility at Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District in Portland, Ore. The next generation of mobility-as-a-service could evolve as a personal travel assistant, she suggested during a panel discussion in September.
“Siri, plan a trip from home to work, arriving at 8 a.m., and wake me up on time. That’s, I think, where we’re going,” she said.
Here are more stories from special districts around the country. Share your own news with us for inclusion in the next newsletter.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is still dealing with the ill effects of an August malware attack. Officials say recovery efforts are moving slowly to ensure safety.
New Jersey Transit will build electric bus charging stations and related infrastructure in Camden. The move paves the way for an electric bus pilot program that could expand statewide.
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